Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communications



First Advisor

Charla Shaw Markham


In the U.S., the rate of delivery by cesarean section has increased more than 50% since 1996. On the other hand, home births increased 5% since 2005 and continue to be on the rise. Previous research is limited in examining the factors that influence the choices surrounding the birthing plan. Existing research indicates that few women ask questions and make an effort to learn about birthing options as they prepare for delivery. The common perception is that medical events dictate what will eventually happen; thus, responsibility is relinquished to the healthcare provider. This study used 12 in-depth interviews with primiparae, or first-time mothers, to examine who and what influences them as they make their birthing decisions. In order to understand what factors influence a woman's birthing decision, the interviews were analyzed for discursive themes. Three themes or factors emerged: others' birth experiences, trust, and fear. This study is a first step in an effort to develop a better understanding of communication needs of primiparae as they develop their birthing plans. Recommendations based on the findings are offered in an effort to improve patient-provider communication and increase satisfaction and adherence for both healthcare professionals and primiparae.


Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Communication Commons